President Donald Trump definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. The president unleashed a barrage of Tweets early Saturday morning. His first Tweet attempts to defend and vindicate Jeff Sessions, the disgraced Attorney General who earlier this week recused himself from the investigation onto contact between Team Trump and the Russian Government during the election.
Then things took a bizarre turn. Trump accused former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower before his election victory. He then accuses Obama of McCarthyism.
Trump then switched the topic back to Jeff Sessions, once again trying to vindicate him by revealing that Sergei Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador, visited the White House 22 times when Obama was in office, and four times in the last year. Trump appears to forget that, as the primary representative of the Russian state in the U.S., that’s part of the Ambassador’s job.
Things seemed to be moving a bit too fast for Trump this morning, and he couldn’t focus on a single thing for very long. His next few Tweets turned back to Obama wiretapping his residence and campaign headquarters.
Equating this fantasy to “Nixon/Watergate” is especially ironic given that many media outlets have been comparing Trump’s disaster of a tenure with that of Richard Nixon’s at the height of the Watergate scandal.
True to his usual form, Trump has cited absolutely no evidence to back up his claims, but his suspicions aren’t entirely unfounded. The CIA were monitoring his staff’s phone calls, which is how the intelligence community came to know that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn spoke with the Russians.
Doubt has already been cast on Trump’s accusations that Obama was behind the wiretap, with former senior intelligence officials commenting that it was very unlikely that Trump was monitored simply to undermine his election campaign.
It seems unthinkable. If that were the case by some chance, that means that a federal judge would have found that there was either probably cause that he had committed a crime or was an agent of a foreign power. You can’t just go around and tap buildings.
However, if it turns out a wiretap was granted through a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant, then that means a U.S. judge found there was enough evidence to tap him in the first place. Trump literally just implicated himself in an intelligence agency investigation into the relationship between his campaign and a foreign government. This is a pretty big deal and a massive own-goal for Trump. His lawyers must be banging their heads on their desks right now. Also, by Tweeting about this, Trump has guaranteed that no one can be charged for leaking the existence of a FISA warrant.
FISA warrants are not requested by the president, but by a law enforcement agency. So it was actually impossible for Obama to order a wiretap on Trump himself. However, this does not mean that there wasn’t a wiretap at Trump Tower. Since Trump’s staff were being investigated, and they located in Trump Tower, then it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of imagination to guess that there could perhaps have been a wiretap. If Trump hadn’t decided to locate his campaign at Trump Tower so that he could pay himself campaign funds.
Arnold Schwarzenegger announced yesterday that he would not return to host the New Celebrity Apprentice because the show had too much “baggage.” This was probably referencing the fact that Trump has publicly condemned Schwarzenegger for supposedly ruining the show’s ratings.
Trump’s tweets were sent from his favorite vacation spot in Mar-A-Lago Florida, where he owns a resort. Trump likes to distract the world from important news stories by trying to bring attention to others, and he is likely trying to deflect attention away from Jeff Sessions.
According to one White House aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Saturday was supposed to be a “down day, pretty quiet”, but it seems their boss had other plans. There was little effort by the White House to coordinate what the president truly meant by those tweets.
The president is truly unhinged. Thankfully today’s episode is containable and doesn’t do any real damage to the United States other than letting the world know that the current president has the temperament of a four-year-old. However the consequences could be worse if Trump decides to direct his morning tantrums towards another country, or worse, a minority community.
Trump is beginning to act like America’s very own Mad King George. It’s a good think the White House will soon have a psychiatrist on stand-by, they clearly need one!.